The 2 Most Common Web Site Mistakes

When we review the sites of potential clients, there are 2 mistakes we see over and over. If you are having problems with your site, make sure these 2 problems aren't killing you.

Traffic

Just because you think something is a good idea doesn't mean the general public agrees. A web site should solve a problem that is common to some part of the population. If people have a problem, they will be compelled to find an answer to it. If they don't, they are not going to visit your site for anything other than browsing. Browsing doesn't pay the bills!

Do the research on Overture or your favorite tool. If there isn't a significant amount of monthly searches for your topic, move on to another one. If you think you can both alert people to a problem and solve it, you are in for a difficult time. It can be done, but your chances of success are pretty small.

Database Parameters

If you have a database driven site, you absolutely must get control of the sub-domains. Examples of database sites include sites selling products or providing some version of a listing service such as real estate or jobs. Programmers and designers have a bad habit of putting session ids in the sub-domains. Session ids are an indication of dynamic pages, pages that are built on the fly when the domain is triggered. A dynamic domain looks something like:

http://www.your-site.com/default.cfm?sid#####LLLLaaa#####

The problem with dynamic domains concerns search engine robots. A robot is designed to recognize the meta tags and content of a page. The robot will then include the page in the search database. Robots often refuse to index dynamic pages because the robot cannot predict the content on the page. From the robot's view, the page could show different things each time it is accessed. As a result, the search engines can't list it under any particular keyword with any confidence that the content will be relevant to the search. If you have dynamic pages, most of the pages of your site will never appear in Google, Yahoo and MSN. That's a disaster.

Planning is the key to setting up a profitable e-commerce site. Make sure you are solving a known problem and set your site up to be friendly to the search engine robots.

Halstatt Pires is with http://www.marketingtitan.com - an Internet marketing and advertising company in San Diego, California.

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